Sunday, April 21, 2019

My Take on the Mueller Report

I encourage everyone to read at least the two executive summaries of the report for yourself. That is what I have read and have based my opinions on. You can get it here.

My take summarized: Trump is wrong when he says “No collusion. No Obstruction.”

Volume I, page 2: “In evaluating whether evidence about collective action of multiple individuals constituted a crime, we applied the framework of conspiracy law, not the concept of ‘collusion’” The report clearly states that they have no opinion as to whether collusion took place. Therefore, that is left up to us to judge ourselves.

My dictionary defines collusion as: “secret agreement or cooperation for an illegal or deceitful purpose.”

Volume I, page 4: “The [Russian IRA] campaign evolved from a generalized program designed in 2014 and 2015 to undermine the US electoral system, to a targeted operation that by early 2016 favored candidate Trump and disparaged candidate Clinton.”

Volume I, page 5: “Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in tis election interference activities.”

The report lists many contacts between the Russians and the Trump Campaign during the election campaign and after the election during the transition period. The report clearly established that the Trump Campaign knew about the Russian activities and did nothing to prevent them, and obviously benefited from them. They told no one and, as Volume II shows, actively attempted to keep the truth from investigators and the public.

That meets my definition of collusion.

Volume II, page 8: “… if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

It sounds to me like they are saying he got off on a technicality – a technicality that the Justice Department created that says a sitting president cannot be indicted. Clearly, he is not truly exonerated.
I still wonder why the Russians perceived they would benefit from a Trump presidency. Clearly Russia has enjoyed more freedom of action and influence in world affairs since Trump was elected, so perhaps the Russian's assessment was correct.

I’m not a lawyer. I’m just applying what I believe is a common sense reading of the executive summaries. I also acknowledge that no one gives a crap what I think about the Mueller report, but I wanted to put this online anyway and get on the record.

Read it. Let me know what you think.


Lynne Handy said...

I agree with your take. Clearly, Trump and his people were working with the Russians prior to the election. Remember that the 2016 Republican platform removed or reduced U.S. help for the Ukraine, at the Russians' bidding. As to what the Democrats can do with the Mueller report, we have to remember that the Senate is Republican-dominated. To my knowledge, only Mitt Romney has stepped up to say anything supportive about the report.

Kevin Moriarity said...

Thanks for reading and commenting! I don't think Congress has the spine to do anything about anything Trump does. I hope I'm wrong, but I fear I'm right.